Loathe him or like him, Dr Saraki was – and probably still is – a phenomenon in Nigerian politics. It is no mean feat for one to be a force to reckon with in Nigerian politics for so long as in his case.
Some have not spent up to a tenure before meeting their Waterloo in the political space of Nigeria. Roughly, Saraki’s sojourn through the political terrain of Nigeria dates back to some 20 years ago or beyond. Somebody is asking how the fuss about Saraki really connects with the above headline. There we go!
I had on an occasion written a piece juxtaposing the personality of Chief Bola Tinubu with that of Dr Bukola Saraki. (See Aledeh: “Jagaban: What Our Saraki Must Learn From This Rare Gem). There I argued that there are seemingly a lot of connections between both political figures.
I do not want to rehash that here again. The eventful collapse (fall, if you like) of the Saraki dynasty has however brought to the fore for the umpteenth time the long-abandoned issue of comparing the Lagos feudal lord with the Governor-general of Kwara.
It is no more news that the Saraki dynasty has been cast into the dustbin of history. What is responsible for this? A mass hysteria (some will say revolution) supported by a catchphrase of “o to ge” which translates roughly to enough is enough. In other words, enough of holding Kwara hostage.
It is believed that the Saraki dynasty had held sway in Kwara State for about 40 years or thereabouts. The dynasty was founded by the patriarch Saraki (Dr Olushola Saraki, a one-time majority leader in the parliament, that is).
In his days, the elder Saraki was solely responsible for who gets what, when and how in Kwara State. Baba played his politics very well. He must have read Niccolo Machiavelli.
It is only a disciple of Machiavelli that could corral the people for “puff-puff” in the afternoon as he did, snatching their destiny in the night. I beg your pardon if that is too blunt anyway. I don’t know of another way to present it. So, advise not to abuse me.
After his demise – an account has it that it was before – the younger Saraki also became the all-in-all of Kwara politics. He imposes and deposes at will as though he was a tin-god. Anyways, he was in the actual sense. Only a tin-god can slap a sitting governor and go scot-free. The story is becoming long and readers may become weary.
After about 16 years, Saraki also lost what he met on a platter of gold (apologies to Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi). Some attributed his fall to the curse his father laid on him. Others said it was due to his arrogance. Yet some others are of the view that his greed and over-ambitiousness led to his defeat. Choose any of the above and you will not be incorrect.
I knew all was done for Saraki when he started undermining federal might. In my own opinion, federal might plus the masses’ hysteria gave the collapse of the Saraki dynasty. The Sarakis have never won a free and fair election in Kwara. Somebody is saying that is not correct. You need not to be an Aristotle to know the above.
It’s not rocket science. What the Sarakis rely upon pre-2015 used to be federal might and politics of violence. In the 2015 general election, the popularity of the APC presidential flagbearer, Muhammadu Buhari, was the saving grace of the Sarakis. The results of the 2019 elections are testaments.
Things soon fell apart (apologies to Baba Chinua Achebe) in the 2019 general election. The first error Saraki committed was leaving the ruling party. By that, he made himself porous. All his “good boys” were apprehended and all eyes were on him.
The massive security deployed to Kwara State, the change of INEC officials that will man Kwara elections on the eve of the gubernatorial election could adduce to this. So, the masses’ revolution also formed a synergy with the above. In no time, therefore, Saraki was ousted.
I knew the chicken had come home to roost for the Sarakis when the APC presidential candidate, Buhari was billed to visit Kwara for his routine campaign. Despite the chicanery deployed by the original houseboy, Dr Ahmed Fatai that is, Saraki was still disappointed by the massive turnout of Kwarans to welcome Buhari.
What Ahmed did was to corral all the commercial motorcycle operators (popularly known as taxi drivers) in the government house in a bid to discourage the people from welcoming the President.
To their utmost discomfiture, most people walked to the venue from far and near, notwithstanding the support offered by some APC members who had vehicles. At this juncture, the Sarakis had given up on the people of Kwara.
No election had witnessed the shrinking of Saraki in weight than this. He toiled and toiled to no avail. His hegemony would later fall. It is within the context of Saraki’s fall that some political observers have been speculating that Tinubu’s is next.
But I beg to disagree. While it is true that no empire or dynasty lasts forever, all things being equal the lion of Bourdillon’s stranglehold of Lagos may not crash in 2019 and for a longer time. Why? Get that in the next series.
By Abdullah Abdulganiy, a public affairs analyst.
Reach him via 08090637356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.